ARCANE DEVICE – Devices 1987-2007

(Monochrome Vision)

Do not anticipate impartiality in this review, as Arcane Device ranks among the names that instantaneously bring the tears of a bygone youth to my eyes (don’t believe that – I never cry). David Lee Myers’ apparatus of auto-regenerating feedback, consisting of several interconnected digital delays and a no-input mixer (well over a decade before many current heroes of this practice, I’m willing to add) was one of this writer’s frequent picks in the late 80s, an epoch in which your babbler was eagerly tuned on everything ranging from uncontaminated cacophonic dissonance to cultured noise: my post-industrial stage, when the classification did have a meaning, the music impacting on our rock-based convictions with the force of a well-aimed uppercut. Artists like Myers were trying to teach that life is not made of “moderato cantabile” and “smell the roses”, at least not exclusively (god bless). The two discs in question are manna for those who would be interested in knowing more about the unfathomable appeal of controlled feedback, which can manifest as a gruesome monster and a ravishing vision at once, threatening blurs and arrhythmic intimidations appearing for everlasting instants then dissipating in steam that, once inhaled, makes the subject a better man (or woman), if they manage to grab hold of a glimpse of what all this means for the upgrading of the psychophysical coordination. The first disc’s title is self-explanatory: “Rare And Unreleased Tracks” features shorter pieces from the composer’s archives and long-deleted compilations, including outtakes from one of AD’s masterpieces, “Diabolis Ex Machina”, while the second is entirely dedicated to the four movements of “Feedback Symphony”, an amazing if uncomfortable investigation of the roams of human ignorance around the essentials of sound. Which, despite the existence of people such as this very innovator, is hopelessly, depressingly embedded in the presumption of determining a revolution through mere combinations of words and numbers. Arcane Device eats imbeciles for breakfast.


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